Today the journal group that I'm in had its first sketch crawl. We had heard about a private garden called Wamboldtopia (Wamboldtopia.com) near BookWorks (www.AshevilleBookWorks.com) that had been under growth and change for ten years, the masterwork of Damaris and Ricki Pierce. The day was sunny and warm, and the garden is actually located near a fairly busy section of town; but as soon as we passed under the stone archway entrance, we felt like we were in a cool, shady, hidden part of Italy, Bomarzo with its ancient sculpture garden, or an undeveloped and rarely -visited section of a forgotten hill town.
I like to notice what my eye is drawn to, and I kept finding myself parked in front of the several old-tombstone-like skull pieces that were made by Damaris and embedded in stone columns or walls made by Ricki.
For my final drawing I did the tower (which is really a clever disguise of a chain-link fence at the property line-- pieces of insulation foam wrapped in hardware cloth covered with stucco with a real bell included and the fence top made to look like the top of a stone wall) and a poppy seed head, which reminded me of the skull pieces; so I concocted my own poppy-head skull exploding its seeds.
While at the garden I did pen sketches only and made color notes. Later this evening I painted with watercolor and gouache and incorporated a few rubber stamps that I had on hand from another project. The paper in this sketchbook is handmade from willow bast and abaca.